Reynolds denied appeal on 2012 murder conviction

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Mississippi Court of Appeals denied Kevin A. Reynolds’ request for an appeal on Tuesday.

Reynolds was convicted of murdering a Carriere resident, Kevin Vandrell, and sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole in August of 2012.

According to court documents, Reynolds filed his appeal based on the contention that his counsel provided “ineffective assistance” and that the circuit court allowed for “inadmissible hearsay evidence” to be presented to the jury, all of which would be grounds for an appeal. The appellate court found no proof of Reynolds’ claim and ruled to uphold the conviction and judgment of original trial.

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According to a previous story in the Item, Reynolds was arrested on Sept. 1, 2011 after Vandrell’s body was found lying on his bed with a single gunshot wound to the head.

According to court documents, Vandrell was alone, cooking dinner at his home on Aug. 31, 2011 when Reynolds and an acquaintance David Gross arrived at Vandrell’s home.

Reynolds entered the home without permission, which angered Vandrell and started an argument between the two. Vandrell followed the two men outside, yelled at him and fired a shot from a rifle into the air.

After Gross and Reynolds left, Vandrell went to the home of Jules Ouder, a neighbor, and told Ouder he feared for his life. The next day, Vandrell’s mother found him dead in his bedroom and called the police.

Gross testified at the August 2012 trial that after the argument, Reynolds and Gross went to Reynolds home, the previous story states. Later that night, Reynolds asked Gross to drive him to Vandrell’s home. Gross testified he parked a block away.

Reynolds exited the vehicle and went to Vandrell’s house. Gross testified he saw Reynolds return after 15 minutes with the rifle and drove back to Reynolds’ house, where the men stayed that night, the previous story states.

It took the jury 45 minutes to deliberate at the August 2012 trial, according to an earlier Item report.

Reynolds was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon in August 2012.

The Honorable Prentiss Greene Harrell presided over the original trial in Pearl River County. Assistant District Attorneys Monya Creel Bryan and Clay Cranford represented the state at the trial and Mike Adleman of Hattiesburg represented Reynolds.